Apple cider vinegar baths, just like ginger baths, have saved the day for my two children with eczema. I cannot describe how blessed we are to have found these natural remedies for eczema, they saved the children’s health, and the adults’ sanity. The bottle of apple cider vinegar we had at home was actually bought for drinking, but it was too sour, so it sat inside our kitchen cabinet, until I decided to try out the claims that we have heard about it being able to soothe and calm angry and inflamed skin. It helped so much, now I would actually say apple cider vinegar cures eczema! (See the brand we are using)
How apple cider vinegar is made
If you are a history buff, you would love this article by a National Geographic blogger that discusses The Highs and Lows of Hard Apple Cider History. The short and simple story of how apple cider vinegar is made: first, apples are pressed to obtain its juice, then bacteria is added to ferment the sugars in the apple juice into an alcohol. Another type of bacteria is then used to convert the alcohol into vinegar.
Some brands of bottled apple cider vinegar has the ‘Mother’ – the bacteria still inside it, unfiltered. Buy those if you are getting some from the store, as they have the most benefits.
In fact, you can even make your very own apple cider vinegar at home! Follow this YouTube video by Blake Kirby to first learn about the entire process, then this one to start off your first batch from scratch (without the ‘Mother’ of bacteria).
Benefits of apple cider vinegar
The benefits of apple cider vinegar are countless and heavily reported, ranging from weight loss, improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels, to aiding digestion and reflux symptoms, stabilizing blood sugar, and boosting immunity against colds and flus.
Since we are here because of eczema, I will focus mainly on the benefits that apple cider vinegar has on the skin. It is soothing when applied diluted on the skin, due to its pH level being the same as acid mantle, which is the protective barrier on our skin, so it restores balance. Moreover, apple cider vinegar is able to remove dead skin, leaving our skin renewed and smooth.
The other important health effect it has on us, which is also related to the skin, is the ability of apple cider vinegar to stimulate circulation, as well as boost liver detoxification. It cleanses the lymph nodes, and flushes toxins out of the body.
Our experience with apple cider vinegar baths
We have seen this detoxification effect of apple cider vinegar with our very own eyes (or should I say nose), especially when I used it in the bath for my daughter M, during her topical steroid withdrawal (tsw) days. After soaking for about 10 minutes in the apple cider vinegar bath, as I poured out the bath water, it stank real bad, it smelled like a choked drain or choked sewers!
I was thinking to myself, it must be the toxins in her body being purged out somehow, due to soaking in the apple cider vinegar bath. How else could I explain the bad odour? That was before I even found out about this healing property of apple cider vinegar. So, it really works! I was convinced beyond words.
Over months, as she slowly recovered from topical steroid withdrawal, her post-bath apple cider vinegar water no longer had this bad smell. I also slowly reduced the frequency of using apple cider vinegar in her bath, but it is still a constant presence in our home. Once her skin starts to flare again due to whatever reason (environmental trigger, food, etc.), we would use apple cider vinegar for her bath, and it would help immensely.
A word of caution though: during the bath itself, when her skin is thin, weak and fragile, she would sometimes experience a stinging sensation. But once the bath is over, her skin would be calmed and soothed even if previously red, angry and inflamed.
How we use it in our baths
It is very simple. I use about a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar in M’s baby bathtub. If yours is a regular adult tub, then you should adjust the amount accordingly, maybe at least half a cup, or even more. If it stings badly, then use less the next time. Again, there is no hard and fast rule, do what works best for you.
For my son J, who does not use a bath, I mix about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. Then he soaks a handkerchief in the mixture, and uses it to sponge himself.
You can drink it, wash your hair in it, and clean glass with it too!
These days, apple cider vinegar has a very prominent place in our home. We use it for so many things, we can hardly do without it anymore.
- My husband uses it undiluted on his eczema spots, to exfoliate the dead skin, it helps with healing.
- I occasionally drink it with honey if I need to feel healthy (after indulging in sinful food, of course).
- I use it in cooking.
- I even use it as a hair conditioner, in place of commercial ones! Don’t worry about the vinegar smell, it disappears once your hair dries off (my husband can vouch for that!). I dilute about a tablespoon of it in a cup, and pour it slowly over my hair after shampooing, while closing my eyes real shut so that none of the vinegar gets in. Let it stay for at least 2 minutes, then rinse off. It works really well in removing any residue buildup, and also makes my hair soft. I only have to do this once a week, the softness will retain.
- We use it in the washing machine, in place of commercial laundry softener. It is a chemical-free way to soften your clothes.
- We even use it to clean glass and mirrors around the house. Mix equal portions of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle, spray onto the glass surface and wipe with a microfiber cloth. It makes cleaning glass really fast and effective!
- One last use for apple cider vinegar (that I can think of as I am writing this) is as a soak for fresh produce, to remove pesticides on their surfaces. In your sink, or in a wash basin, fill with water and add in about half a cup of vinegar (or more). This gives us piece of mind when eating the fruits and vegetables (especially if they are eaten raw), since we cannot afford to buy organic.
Apple cider vinegar is another wonderful creation of nature. It is a wonderful skin soother, and detoxification agent. That, in itself, is already very invaluable to us. Remember, nature and time will heal. Have faith, and keep on believing.
Let’s heal together.
If you have any comments, or simply to share your own experience, please feel free to write them below.